Children feel the effects of Hurricane Frances - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Children feel the effects of Hurricane Frances

September 4, 2004

Albany -- The youngest victims of the devastation in Florida are the thousands of children that have been forced to uproot their lives and evacuate with their parents. While many of the them are too young to understand what's going others understand all to well.

5 year old A.J. Willsey is more concerned with play time then what might be happening at his home hundreds of miles away in Jensen Beach, Florida.

A.J.'s mother evacuated to Albany Friday with her son and husband. She say it's important for her son to know the truth about why they had to leave.

"I just want him to know that when we gets back home it may not be the way it was when we left,"says Amy Willsey.

But the situation is different for evacuees like Sally Wagner who is a mother to older children. They are children who know the dangers of a hurricane. During Charley the family took shelter inside their pantry.

The children know the dangers of Frances and are openly worried about their family still in Florida.

"I sort of miss my dad because he is at work and was not able to leave," says 10 year old Amber Ellis.

"I just hope that my house doesn't blow down or anything bad happens," says Chase Wagner.

Lisa Ellis reassures her children and hopes if any good were to come from the hurricane ,it will be that they are learning an important lesson about life.

"Things are not what matters, it's people," says Ellis.

A lesson many families are learning the hard way as another hurricane hits their home just three weeks after Hurricane Charley.

Child development experts say being up front and honesty is always the best policy with guiding a child through a traumatic situation.

posted at 5:57PM by scott.hunter@walb.com